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Terra Nullius Defined
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'Terra Nullius'! Translate it into English and you have a 'Land that belongs to no-one'.

In International Law 'terra nullius' describes territory that nobody owns so that the first nation to discover it is entitled to take it over, as "finders keepers". But how did this latin phrase, and the right of takeover, make such an impact on places that weren't deserted; particularly across large land masses like Australia?

To search for an answer to this question we must go back in time, long before Eddie Mabo and others began their land rights action in the High Court of Australia.

And to begin the search, we start a long way from the Australian legal system and even the laws of the Torres Strait's 'Meriam' people. We must go back to the beginnings of International Law itself.
...land belonging to no-one...
Video
1788
colonial warfare, colonisation, crown land, doctrine of tenure, extinguishment, Land Bilong Islanders, land rights, settlements, sovereignty, terra nullius
...The Women's Camp...
Image and Text
1901
aborigines, anthropology, custom
...Waihusiwa...
Image
1902
Curtis, Edward S., Marshall Cases, native American, treaties, United States of America
...I am proud...
Text
 
Canada, First Nations Canada, property, sacred
Crown Land
Topic
 
colonisation, doctrine of tenure, indigenous Australians, International law, native title, New South Wales, sovereignty, terra nullius
Defining native title: the Mabo decision
Text
 
crown land, cultural preservation, doctrine of tenure, High Court judgement, Mabo judgement, terra nullius
Yirrkala & Gove
Topic
1963-1971
bark petition, Gove, industry, land rights, Marika, Roy, mining, Nabalco, Yunupingu, Galarrwuy
Belonging To Country
Topic
 
aborigines, Australia, dreamtime, indigenous Australians, land ownership, land rights, sacred
Bicentennial Protests
Video
1989
bicentennial, colonisation, land rights, resistance
A Humanitarian Tradition
Topic
 
Australia, colonialism, Cook, Captain James, First Fleet, humanitarians, land rights, terra nullius
A Challenge To The Established Law
Topic
Apr, 3, 1987
Canberra, High Court of Australia, native title, Queensland Coast Islands Declaratory Act , 1985 , sovereignty, terra nullius
Extinguishment Of Native Title
Topic
 
Brennan, Chief Justice Gerard, claim, crown land, extinguishment, native title, plaintiffs, Radical Title, Supreme Court USA
Terra Nullius
Topic
 
colonisation, crown land, doctrine of tenure, First Fleet, New South Wales, sovereignty, terra nullius
Murray Island Annexation
Topic
1879
annexation, colonisation, conquest, International law, Mabo Case, Mer, Murray Island, Queensland, terra nullius
Defining Native Title
Topic
 
aboriginal law, land ownership, native title
Dispossession
Topic
 
colonisation, dispossession
Pre-Existing Land Rights
Topic
 
land rights, Mabo judgement, native title
Sovereignty & Indigenous Self-Government
Topic
 
Mabo judgement, native title, sovereignty
Takeovers
Topic
 
barbarism, colonisation, International law, terra nullius
Terra Nullius & Australia
Topic
 
crown land, dispossession, doctrine of tenure, First Fleet, land rights, resistance, terra nullius
The Doctrine Of Tenures Reconsidered
Topic
 
crown land, doctrine of tenure, land rights, Mabo judgement
The Status Of Australian Colonies
Topic
 
crown land, land ownership, sovereignty, terra nullius
Colonisation
Topic
 
colonisation, High Court of Australia, Mabo judgement, terra nullius